7 high protein sources for vegans
Protein, one of the essential macronutrient, plays a vital role in weight loss and also in maintaining good health altogether. Having a protein-rich diet has been a challenge for most of us especially the vegans or vegetarians. It has been said that animal protein is far better than plant protein and that plant-based sources provide less or poor quality protein. Well, this isn’t true. There are several plant-based products which provide a good amount of protein and if planned properly it can meet your daily requirement as well.
Tofu, tempeh, edamame- talking about protein-rich food the first thing that crosses your mind is an egg but for a vegetarian or vegan its soy. Soy products are the best substitute for dairy products. It provides all essential amino acids which the body needs. Edamame is immature soybeans and has a grassy taste, tofu is similar to cottage cheese prepared from soy milk and has no or minimal taste of its own. Tempeh is prepared by slightly fermenting and cooking the mature soybeans and they usually have a smoky flavour. Other than protein they are rich in other nutrients such as iron and calcium. Edamame is rich in folate, vitamin K and fibre whereas tempeh is a good source of probiotics, B vitamins and minerals.
Lentils- they are one of the great sources of protein, one cup of cooked lentil protein provide approximately 18 grams of protein. Other than protein it provides slowly digested carbs and almost 50% of your daily recommended fibre intake as well and not just this the fibre present in lentils feed the good bacteria in the colon thus improving your gut health. Adding lentils in your diet to improve your overall health and can even prevent some serious health issues like heart disease, diabetes and even obesity.
Chickpeas-commonly known as chana or Chola, chickpea is packed with a good amount of protein. Apart from providing roughly 15 gm of protein per cooked cup, chickpeas are rich in complex carbs, fibre, iron, folate, phosphorus and magnesium. Roast it or make a paste and add a dash of lemon to make an excellent dip.
Kidney beans- rajma and chawal (steamed or boiled rice) are a match made in heaven for most Indians. They are yet another great source of protein. Including this in your diet would show great results. Boil it and add it in your bowl of salad, make a curry and eat it with your rice, this delicious beans goes with almost everything.
Green peas- these tiny green pearls are often overlooked but are full of nutrients. One cup of cooked green peas provide around 9 gm of protein and not just this, it is rich in fibre, vitamin A, C, K and B and minerals like zinc, iron, magnesium and phosphorus. You can mix them raw in your salad or make a soul or any other way you like it.
Quinoa- a pseudo-cereal as it’s originally a seed, quinoa is often taken as a cereal. Eat it whole or can be made into a flour, they are one of the great of complete protein when compared to other grains. Apart from being rich in protein, quinoa is a great source of complex carbs, fibre, iron, magnesium and zinc.
Seeds- seeds have every nutrient required for a plant to grow thus this tiny food is packed with most of the nutrients be it protein, carbohydrate, fibre or good fat. One tablespoon of seeds can provide roughly about 3 gm of protein. Mixing a few of them in your salad or smoothie can enhance the nutritional value of your food. You can include sunflower seed, chia seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds or hemp seeds or whichever you like.